First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa has underscored the need for a broader dialogue for the welfare and development of mentally handicapped children, considered suffering from Autism. The First Lady is representing Sri Lanka at a special five-day conference being in Dhaka. She said that awareness in this regard within the South Asian region remains very low and educating communities across the region has become a timely need. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has convened the meeting. It is being attended by first ladies of 17 countries. Chairperson of the Congress Party of India Sonia Gandhi, the chief patron of Action Autism India, also addressed the meeting yesterday. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina praised the services being done by the First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa Mrs. Gandhi to promote child development activities in their respective countries.